Healthy Tip # 99

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Welcome to the category of my blog simply called ‘Healthy Tips.’ Many times, when I write articles for various publications, I need to find sources for the story as seen in Yahoo Shine (click here) or PBS (click here) about staying healthy. I was looking for experts and non-experts to chime in and give their favorite ‘tips’ to help kids and adults lead a healthy lifestyle.

The feedback for various stories was amazing. The sources had some fantastic points of view that could not be ignored, and I thought their opinions should be viewed on the Your Health Journal web site.

So, enjoy my new series, with some ‘great’ insight from some ‘great’ people giving exceptional and educational points of view.

healthytip
Healthy Tip From John Friess

What is the importance of families exercising together?

There is a phrase, “work out and it’ll work out”. I think this is true amongst families that exercise together. The value of exercise is well documented as a stress mitigator, as a mood enhancer and as a endorphin releasing activity. In turn, being in a better mood and better state of mind nearly always positively impacts families.

Also, as we all know kids simply mimic what they see their parents doing and exercising with them or exercising in front of them will simply lead to mimicry, which will lead to them adopting activity, fitness and exercise as a lifestyle. This, to say the least, is one of the great life traits you can pass onto your children.

Suggestions/creative ideas to get families to exercise together?

The best idea we have ever heard around families exercising together is to simply an acronym…make it F.U.N., which stands for making it:

– For everyone in the family.

– Unnecessary to prepare for.

– Not difficult to participate in.

So, some good examples of this is a dance party in the kitchen before dinner, a water fight outside in the summer sun, or a game of tag when walking to the park. These all can be 10 to 15 minute exercise focused activities that are both in line with the acronym F.U.N., but that are literally fun as well.

We as parents need to make our children’s lives fun in every sense of the word and this is just simply one more application of this. Kids simply play and are active nearly all day long. We as adults DON’T play and are rarely active. Who seems happier and more alive and more fit? That is a rhetorical question

Reasons why families are not exercising together these days?

The simple answer is that we are not spending nearly any time together and exercise is listed as one of the least likely ways that American adults prefer to spend their time. In turn, when we as parents don’t spend our time partaking in exercise and healthy activities, neither will our families. You rarely see a child that is obese with active and fit parents. This is not a judgement, rather it is a simple example of how our children love us and want to be like us. We are the barometer for their health and if we are off then they will be off, nearly guaranteed.

Time is not the real hurdle, cost is not the real hurdle, boredom with exercise programs is not the real hurdle. The real hurdle is us as parents stating that exercise and fitness and health is as much of a priority to us, and inherently to our children as education, love and opportunity. When we as parents make exercise and fitness greater priorities so will our children, just like anything we do that they see us investing in.

– John Friess, fitness expert and owner of Journey Gym